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Cody Cooper

Rider Profile

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Click for the clip

Date of Birth: 12/10/83
Currently lives: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Height: 182cm
Weight: 82kg
How many years riding: 23 years
Career Highlights: First AMA Podium (Unadilla Round Eight, 2008 AMA Motocross Championship)
Results MX 2009:In 2009 Cooper strung together some impressive results in the AMA Outdoor Series, which included six top-10 finishes in the premier 450 class.
Bike for 2010 MX: Suzuki RM-Z450
Riding number for 2010 MX: 10
Team Manager: Jay Foreman
Mechanic: Simon Reid
First bike: JR50
Favourite track: Red Bud
Heroes: Stefan Everts and Ricky Carmichael
If you weren’t riding Motocross, what would you be doing: A mechanic
Toughest Competition: Everyone

Sponsors: The Honda Shop, M2R helmets, No Fear, JT Sprokets, Oakley.
Type of Riding: super x, moto x.
Class: MX 1
Goals: be the best person I can be.
Likes: cycling, mnt biking, running, hanging with friends.
Highlights: riding on factory team in USA. racing Bubba.
Other Interests: golfing, racing cars
Fave Music: rise against, anything really.

Race Reports:

Mt Maunganui motocross rider Cody Cooper relinquishes national title

28 Mar, 2018 7:00pm Colin Smith Bay of Plenty Times
Mt Maunganui's Cody Cooper has finished runner-up in the New Zealand Motocross Championship ahead of a US campaign that starts in May. Photo / Photography Inmotion / Greg Henderson
Mt Maunganui's Cody Cooper has finished runner-up in the New Zealand Motocross Championship ahead of a US campaign that starts in May. Photo / Photography Inmotion / Greg Henderson

Cooper finished runner-up to Australian Kirk Gibbs in the MX1 class of the 2018 NZ Motocross Championship, making up ground at the series finale but coming up 11 points short as the Queenslander clinched the title at Taupo on Saturday.

Cooper's campaign produced four wins from 12 starts but also setbacks at key points of the four-round series.

''At the first round [New Plymouth] I started with two seconds and then a sixth when I crashed and hurt my rib. At that stage I was ahead of Gibbs but behind Kayne Lamont,'' said Cooper.

Round two at Rotorua was another mixed day for the Honda racer.

''I had a second and a first but then I had a bad start in the last race. It was hard to pass and I finished fourth.''

Mangakino-based Lamont (Yamaha) led the title chase at the mid-point by nine points from Gibbs with Cooper a further five points adrift. A sixth consecutive national title was still a possibility.

''Then I had two really bad races at Hawke's Bay. I crashed twice in race one and then got a bad start in race two, had to take my goggles off on the first lap and I finished ninth.''

Cooper bounced back to win race three at Hawke's Bay and went to the Taupo final in third place, 18 points behind Gibbs and trailing Lamont by 12.

Taupo produced a 2-1-1 scorecard and pushed Cooper back into second spot while Gibbs clinched the title and Lamont's effort ended with a crash in the final race.

''In the first race I was leading but I was taking the wrong line in one corner and Gibbs passed me. Overall it was good final round but in the end I was too far behind in the points,'' said Cooper.

Cooper revealed on Saturday that he'd been racing injured in the last two rounds.
''I've cracked a metacarpal on my right hand,'' he said.

''I wasn't even on a motocross bike. I was doing interval training on my road bike [bicycle] and I came off when the chain broke.

''It's been an annoyance on some of the bumps rather than a big problem.''

Cooper will spend time training off the bike in coming weeks as he prepares for the 12-round Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the US.

He is travelling with mechanic Lee McLean in a privateer effort against the big US teams that starts at Sacramento, California on May 19.

''We've got a motorhome and we'll drive across the country to all the races,'' said Cooper.

''The plan is to enjoy the racing and do as well as I can. I should have good bikes and good suspension and I think we can do okay over there.''

Bay of Plenty riders featured in the standings across all classes of the MX Nationals.

Mt Maunganui's Rhys Carter (Kawasaki) finished the season fourth overall in the MX1 class and one place ahead of Rotorua's John Phillips (Honda).

Taupo's Brad Groombridge (Suzuki) claimed runner-up honours in a MX2 title that was dominated by Takaka's Hamish Harwood with 11 wins from 12 races while Te Puke's Logan Blackburn (Kawasaki) achieved sixth.

In the 125cc 2-stroke class Rotorua's Joshua Bourke-Palmer (Yamaha) was fourth overall.


CAPTION: Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Honda Racing Team CRF450), national champion again in the MX1 class. Photo by Andy McGechan,

MARCH 26, 2017: With four consecutive New Zealand Motocross Championship MX1 crowns to his name, and five in total, it would be a foolish person indeed to bet against Mount Maunganui Honda hero Cody Cooper. 

But, in fact, all bets were off at the fourth and final round of the 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championships in Taupo on Saturday with virtually nothing to separate Cooper from his main title threat in the premier MX1 class.

The Honda Racing Team star had led the national series from the start in Timaru in February and then embellished his position at the top with another solid performance at round two near Rotorua a fortnight later.

But then Cooper lost his series lead for the first time at round three near Palmerston North two weeks ago – slipping from 13 points in front to one point behind 2016 Australian MX1 champion Dean Ferris.

But Cooper was back to his scintillating best on Saturday, scoring a hat-trick of wins to dominate the day, re-taking the lead from Ferris and clinching the championship title at the same time. 

It was Cooper's fifth consecutive national MX1 title win and his sixth in total, adding to the two MX2 (250cc) titles he won in previous seasons, and it has reinforced the 33-year-old’s status again as the best motocross racer in New Zealand.

Ferris was forced to withdraw from the final MX1 class race of the day at Taupo because of an electrical problem and this gave a huge points advantage to Cooper.

But, by then, the damage had really already been done, with Cooper having won the first two races of the day to give himself a seven-point buffer even before the gate had dropped on that final race.

A third placing or better in the final race would have been enough to hand the title to Cooper and his victory in that race, while Ferris failed to finish, was merely icing on the cake for the Kiwi hero.

“I guess I offered Dean (Ferris) a chance to win the title when I gave up my 13-point advantage at (round three in) Palmerston North. But I won all three races today and that was that,” said Cooper.

"I had to be a bit of an animal today. Dean (Ferris) had a go at me and it just fired me up. I knew I had to win the second race to give myself an edge for the final race and that meant riding outside my comfort zone. But, if I was riding outside my comfort zone, I knew Dean had to be too. 

"I'll be back to defend the title again next year," he declared. "I can't wait."

Third overall for the series was fellow Mount Maunganui rider Rhys Carter.

Close friends as well as on-track rivals, Cooper and Carter will both now head to the United States in May to tackle the first two rounds of the American nationals, at Hangtown and then Glen Helen, both these venues in California.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

USA Pro MX Series Round 1 Hangtown 21st May 2016

Cody Cooper was 19th in moto 1 and 16th in moto 2 for a 19th overall on equal points with Justin Brayton and Benny Bloss.  Comment from Coops:

"Was a hard day. Full on racing with them USA guys. All are very fast. Couple of little things we need to fix and we will be going better"

Cody Cooper behind the scenes Photo Shoot with Shayne Rice : Click for the clip

Cody Cooper 2016 MX ChampClick for the clip

BACK TO IT   30.3.16

Crown Kiwi Enterprises, the Kiwi distributors of Alpinestars, Bell Helmets and 100% (and other iconic brands) are taking Cody Cooper to race the AMA Pro Motocross Nationals… and you can be a part of it.

That’s right, Coops is heading back to the United States to race the AMA Nationals, starting with two rounds at Hangtown and Glen Helen on a Honda CRF450R, with the support of Crown Kiwi Enterprises and its director and former FIM 500cc World Champion, Shayne King.

“People have asked if it’s a reward for winning the New Zealand MX1 title,” says Coops, “but it’s more about keeping the momentum going, as well as Shayne always wanting to keep the sport of moto progressing in New Zealand.

“As you know, Shayne loves to be involved in all levels of moto – from mini moto in New Zealand to AMA Supercross in North America – since he just loves it so much. Obviously, it’s awesome to have someone like that in my corner, as he’s always been there to support me in my racing and such opportunities.

“Coming off the New Zealand Nationals, I’m feeling really good. My training is going well, with my fitness at the level it needs to be and my riding almost as good as it’s ever been. I’m also having fun with it. But while I’m going there to have fun, as racing is just that – fun – I’ll also be there to race, so I do have expectations.”

The last time Coops raced an AMA National, he finished second overall at Unadilla to James Stewart, the latter then known as the “Fastest Man on the Planet”. The podium finish at one of the most iconic tracks in motocross is still known as one of the all-time great moments of Kiwis racing on the international scene.

Because of that, King is supporting Coops and his racing effort, just like he has in New Zealand, but bringing a new angle that involves Kiwi motocross fans, too.

“We’re just in the planning stages of putting together a package for supporters who want to travel to California and watch the racing, which will truly be something special, “ said King. “We’ll have all the details in less than a fortnight, but it will see the supporters being at the track, staying at the same hotels and seeing what goes on while racing at that level – and, as California really is the centre of moto, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“And since the first two rounds take place in San Francisco and Los Angeles, it means it is a trip that families can do, since it is easily done in ten days. The chance for kids to get a signed jersey from Coops, while seeing him race at two such motocross tracks, is an experience all on its own – it will be inspring for the next generation of Kiwi motocross racers.”

While Coops is keeping it fun, he is also pushing for good results, including a top ten: “There’s no point in going there if I can’t get a top ten. If I get anything better than that, it’s just a bonus. That’s why I’ll be heading over a few weeks earlier, so I can get used to the tracks and get back into the rhythm of such a professional scene. We’ll be using that time to set the bike up, too, especially for Glen Helen. That has such a long start, big hills and it can get rough, so the right setup is key.

“I’ll only be racing two rounds, and not the whole series, as it is an expensive thing to race one round let alone the whole series, so I’m grateful to the support I am getting from Shayne.”

“For me,” says Shayne, “it’s about getting the benefit of what we do over there, for the Kiwi motocross scene. Unfortunately, with what Ben, Courtney and Josiah are doing, most of the racing is in the middle of the night, but California works a lot better for fans to tune in on a Sunday in New Zealand.”

At this stage, the small but experienced team are going to focus on the first two rounds, but there is a chance for more rounds.

“I think he’s got the speed, the fitness and he’s definitely got the bike – he’s got everything there to make it work, Kiwi style,” says Shayne. “Especially coming off the Nationals, and the high he’s on, it could all come together. I’m behind him 100 per cent, so I’ll do everything I can to make it happen and right for him.”

In a fortnight, there will be more information on the supporters’ programme, with full coverage on in Dirt Rider Downunder Magazine, which will give everyone an insight about what happens when you go to race in the States.

“If that gives one kid the inspiration to chase their dreams, we’ve done our job,” says Shayne.

For anyone who is looking to support Coops’ race effort, by being a bigger part of the campaign, they can get in touch with Shayne ([email protected]) about getting their name on the Alpinestars racewear and CRF450R.

Catching Up March 29th 2016  : Simon Makker 

New Zealand champion talks latest title win, Australia and more.

Winning a national motocross title is a huge achievement in its own right. Claiming four championships on the trot is reserved for only the top echelon of riders, and that’s exactly what The Honda Racing Team’s Cody Cooper achieved this year when he held off fierce charges from Dean Ferris and Todd Waters to stand atop the New Zealand Motocross Championship MX1 podium. We caught up with Coops to get his take on a hard-fought title, the chances of him returning to Australia this year and what the future holds.

First up, mate, congratulations on winning your fourth straight New Zealand Motocross Championship. That’s a pretty impressive record.

Yeah, I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve won five MX1 titles now and the last four in a row, and considering we’ve had some big Aussie names come over the last couple of years, it feels pretty good. I’m not sure what the record in a row is here in New Zealand but I’d say it’d be held by either Darryll or Shayne King; I must be starting to close in on it now though!

How was it this year, with both Dean and Todd coming over to do battle?

It made it more interesting, that’s for sure. Both those guys raced the GPs the past few years so they know how to ride a bike. Coming into the first round I felt fast and Dean was holding a similar speed to me, but I struggled with starts while he got great starts. I kind of lost my way a bit playing around with settings on the new Ohlins suspension; starts has always been one of my strengths so I knuckled down for the third and fourth rounds, found some good settings and got them sorted again. It was what I needed to get those points back. Also, I over trained too much early on and at the second round at Manawatu my legs were that stuffed I could hardly stand up in the last two motos. I had a bit of back trouble after that round as well, but that forced me to take it a bit easier coming into Rotorua and I felt awesome there. That made me realise that I’d been overtraining hard-out; it’s weird when you forget some of those things that you’ve learnt in the past and you find yourself making the same mistakes all over again. But yeah, Rotorua and Taupo went perfectly and I managed to pull back the points on Dean to take the title again.

What is it about the New Zealand MX Nationals that makes you find another gear?

I guess it’s easy training during our summer and my team let’s me do what I want to do. They give me all the equipment I need, but I’m my own boss and as long as I get the job done, then it’s all good. The team’s awesome in that respect. Shayne King hooked me up with all the product I need and the Ohlins suspension and I just get stuck into the job in front of me.

At the same time, you always seemed to struggle taking that speed and momentum over to Australia. Why do you think that is?

I don’t know. I think I can be just as fast and motivated if I’d found the right structure over there. You’ve got to be happy with where you’re at and to be honest, I never really felt 100 per cent settled and stoked with racing in Australia. Some of the tracks could be better, but I kind of got a bit bored with it. I might come back and use the final two rounds as preparation for the Motocross of Nations, and get some race-time under my belt but that’d be all I do this year, I think.

So you didn’t receive any interest after winning the New Zealand championship this year?

No, nothing. And it’s not worth me going over there as a privateer pouring all my money into a campaign and getting nothing out of it. I’d rather go to the US and do a couple of races there – it’ll cost me less money but I’ll probably get more recognition out of it if I do well – and pick and choose other events around the world that I want to race on my own terms. I’m getting older now, so I want to have fun with my racing.

So am I hearing that you’re planning to race in the States later this year?

Yeah, I’m pretty keen get over there for a couple of weeks and race the opening two rounds of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown and Glen Helen. I’m trying to work it all out at the moment, but I know a lot of people over there who’d be happy to help me out from my days racing there.

That sounds like a sweet plan, man. Between now and May you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve, though. What are your plans?

Just to ride really, get out on the mountain bike, ride for fun, get my fitness up and do some more coaching. The coaching’s been going pretty good, but I’m still learning how to get the word out there that I’ve got schools available. I really enjoy teaching others how to ride better and it’s a good feeling when you see them get a lot faster after a session.

Good stuff. Well thanks for the chat, bud. Hopefully we’ll see you at Toowoomba and Coolum at the end of the season.

Sounds good, boi. Catch ya then.

Race Recap: Cody Cooper

Flying Kiwi reflects on third-successive New Zealand MX1 crown.

The Honda Shop Racing Team’s Cody Cooper became one of a small, select group of racers on Sunday when he claimed his third New Zealand MX1 championship in a row. The 31-year-old was a cut above the rest of the field again this year and is once again setting his sights on the elusive Australian MX Nationals title. caught up with Coops as he packed his bags to fly to Melbourne for some testing with his Penrite Honda Racing team to find out where he’s at.

Image: Mad Max Photography.

Image: Mad Max Photography.

Cody, solid win again this year, mate. How does this year’s New Zealand Motocross Championship win compare to the last two years?

I think it kind of feels the same and I didn’t think too much about the hat-trick really. This series, think I used my head a bit more and was more sensible in my approach to it. Going into the first round I knew I wasn’t riding that well as my knee was still a bit funny in the front with the scar tissue that was built up, so I just got as many points as I could, then over the next three rounds I ramped things up as my leg got stronger. My leg is pretty much perfect now – I’ve been stretching it out with yoga and stuff and it’s now at the point where I can finish a day of racing and it feels fine.

Did you have any nerves coming into the final round at Harrisville on Sunday?

I wasn’t too bad actually. I’m pretty lucky where I don’t get that nervous. When I’m walking to the starting line I get amped up with adrenalin, but that’s usually it. Going into Harrisville I had a 19-point lead over Kirk Gibbs, which isn’t massive, but it was handy to maintain. I wanted to try and win the first race and put myself in a good position for the second race and try and wrap the championship up before the last moto. With Cyclone Pam coming in, we didn’t know when it was going to rain, so I wanted to get as many points in the bag before it started coming down. I ended up going 1-2-2 over the day. I led the first race from start to finish while Gibbs finished seventh, then I led moto 2 until the last two laps when Gibbs came around the outside past me. His bike is so quiet that I didn’t hear him coming and I got a bit of a surprise when he came through on the left of me. He’s stealth on that thing! In the third moto he came up and past me again, so I tagged onto the back of him and stayed there until the end. We were still going pretty quick, but I felt like I was in control the whole time. I’d already won the title and I didn’t want to push too hard as my focus was all on Australia from then. Australia was on my mind before I even lined up for that last race.

As was the case last year, you’re carrying a lot of momentum into the MX Nationals in two weeks’ time. How are you feeling at the moment compared to this time last year, when you felt you were the best you’d ever felt?

Yeah it feels like last year doesn’t it? I’ll make it past the first round this time [laughs]! This year I’m approaching it differently; I’m not necessarily going to go out to win at Horsham, but I’d like a top three to five and work from there. I want to get that first round out of the way then work into the championship. But yeah, my setup on the bike is a lot better now, and I feel my cardio is better than it was a year ago. My leg probably isn’t strong, but I think overall I’m in a better place.

Cooper Makes IT 3 In A Row at Pukekohe 15.03.15

Bay of Plenty's Cody Cooper is national champion once again.

The multi-time winner made it three MX1 class title wins in a row when successfully defending his crown at the fourth and final round of the 2015 New Zealand Motocross Championships near Pukekohe on Sunday.

Mount Maunganui's Cooper (The Honda Shop Racing Team CRF450) arrived at the steep and demanding circuit at Harrisville with one hand already on the trophy, 19 points clear of his nearest rival, Australian vice-champion Kirk Gibbs, with his own Honda team-mate John Phillips, of Rotorua, was just seven points further back in third position.

A sensible and perhaps conservative approach would be enough for Cooper to get the job done and, when he won the first eight-lap race of the day, he'd pushed his advantage out to 30 points over Gibbs – who managed only seventh in that race – and so the title was his if he could manage fifth or better in the next two races, assuming the worst was to happen and Gibbs won them both.

Gibbs did win both of the next two races, but Cooper backed off and cruised to two runner-up finishes and this was easily enough for him to win the day overall and to clinch the JT Racing-sponsored championship as well.

"I've learned a few things over the years and one of those thing is not to panic or push too hard when you don't need to. I let Kirk pass me in both the last two races today and then just tucked in behind him. I knew I didn't have to do anything silly to beat him for the title," smiled the 31-year-old Cooper.

"I was actually already thinking about the next championship next year. I didn't want to get injured. Plus, I'm off to race for the Penrite Honda Team at the Australian Motocross Championships (starting at Horsham, in Victoria, on March 29) and I didn't want an injury heading into that either.

"I was quite relaxed today. I knew I didn't have to do much to win the title. I'd really set myself up with the results from the earlier rounds and by getting three holeshots from three starts today, I just did what I had to do to get the job done," said  Cooper.

NZ MX Nationals Round 3 Rotorua 8th March 2015

Cody Cooper in action at the third round of the NZ motocross championships at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club track. Photo / Greg Henderson Photography
Cody Cooper in action at the third round of the NZ motocross championships at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club track. Photo / Greg Henderson Photography

Defending New Zealand motocross champion Cody Cooper (Papamoa) delivered a strong third-round performance at Rotorua on Sunday to extend his 2015 title lead.

Cooper rode his Honda Shop Racing CRF450 to third placing in the opening MX1 moto and later achieved two wins on a demanding Rotorua Motorcycle Club track at Horohoro.

The round win puts Cooper 19 points clear of Australian rider Kirk Gibbs (KTM) following another mix-up of the leader board in a tightly contested series. Cooper said it was a very demanding track. "It was really technical and gnarly," said Cooper.

"There was no way you could use the same lines all day. And sometimes the good lines crossed over each other so you had to always be searching for something better.

"I think I could have won all three races, but I mucked up at the start of the first moto. I got the holeshot but moved out wide to block Ben [Townley] a little and I lost a few places."

Cooper Smashes MX1Class at Timaru 22.01.15

CAPTION: Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper (The Honda Shop Racing Team CRF450), on top of the MX1 class after racing near Timaru on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan,

FEBRUARY 23, 2015: Cody Cooper has the No.1 emblazoned on his big red Honda CRF450 for a reason and his rivals were left in no doubt as to what that reason was at Timaru on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Cooper blitzed the field at the second of four rounds of the JT Racing-sponsored New Zealand Motocross Championships at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Sunday, racing away to three wins from three starts in the premier MX1 class.

Riding for The Honda Shop Racing Team, the defending national champion from Mount Maunganui led team-mate John Phillips past the chequered flag each time, making it a classic 1-2 Honda double-whammy punch in the face for their title rivals.

However, at the end of the series, now at the halfway stage, there can be only one champion and the fight is probably just beginning to warm up between these two Honda men.

Despite this, Cooper and Phillips – riding identical CRF450 bikes – appear to be great mates and there is no friction in the pits. They do all their battling on the race track.

Cooper experienced difficulties with the concrete starting pad at the opening round in Taranaki a fortnight ago – forced to settle for fourth overall on the day – but he was back to his sublime best at Timaru on Sunday, finishing the day unbeaten and building for himself a three-point advantage over fellow Bay of Plenty rider Phillips at the top of the standings.

It was a good day in Timaru for Phillips too.

Rotorua's Phillips had been third overall at the start of the day, but, apart from being unable to beat fellow Kiwi international Cooper, he was more than a match for the rest of his MX1 rivals on Sunday.

Visiting Australian KTM rider Kirk Gibbs slipped back from the runner-up spot after round one to be now third in the championship standings, seven points behind Phillips.

"This was exactly what I had been planning all week," said Cooper afterwards.

"I scored a start-to-finish win in race one but I was only third at the start of race two and had my work cut out to get into the lead. John (Phillips) was riding great and the track was very much a one-lined affair.

"I'm pretty pleased to win all three today and I wasn't even riding at 100 percent. I was just trying to get a flow going.

"My knee is good now," he said, referring to the injury that kept him out of action for most of the latter half of last year.

"The track was a little slippery at round one and I was trying to be careful with my knee. But I feel quite comfortable now and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series."

Round three is set for Rotorua on March 8, with the fourth and final round at Pukekohe on March 15.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

Cooper Back to his Best

By Colin Smith

A fast start will be crucial when the NZ Motocross Nationals start on Sunday 8th Feb 2015 at New Plymouth, defending champion Cody Cooper says.

The Honda Shop Racing team leader faces strong international opposition and local challengers as he sets out to win a third consecutive title in the premier MX1 (450cc) class.

The Papamoa rider confirmed he's back to front-running form following the knee surgery, which curtailed his 2014 Australian Championship campaign.

He won the MX1 class at the NZ Motocross GP at Woodville recently and says getting out of the start gate first in dusty conditions was a key to his GP success.

Cody Cooper Unplugged

Simon Makker 20th Jan 2015

What makes New Zealand’s defending motocross champion tick.

Greatest moment of your career?

Probably the two podiums I got in 2008 when I raced the AMA Motocross Championship – I got a third at Unadilla and a second at Southwick. I was pretty pumped on that.

Toughest race ever?

I’ve done two races that were really hot and really tough. In 2007 I raced Freestone, Texas and it was about 100 degrees and almost 100 percent humidity. The other one was during a heatwave in Italy when I rode a GP there. You put that much effort in you start going dizzy and feel like you’re going to pass out. Us Kiwis don’t handle the heat that well.

Long-term goal?

I don’t really have one now. I’m 31 and the only thing I haven’t really got is an Australian title; I’d quite like to win the MX1 championship this year.

Favourite track?

I don’t have a favourite track as such, but I love any track that has well-prepped tacky clay like Pukekohe does. It develops real good lines and you can rail the corners even when there’s hardly a rut to turn off.

If you weren’t a racer, you would be?

Probably a professional golfer. I play once a week now, but for a bit I was playing almost every day and I started to get alright at it. It takes up too much time for me to do regularly now with the racing season about the start.


I can’t think of any that I’ve really raced the whole way through. All the guys I raced growing up have stopped or moved classes.

Greatest inspiration?

Ben Townley has been a big help to me and taught me lots. Growing up I just did my own thing and never knew the names of the US guys and never really had a favourite rider or someone I looked up to.


Nothing really worked for me so I don’t have any! When I was little I’d constantly stretch my hands and pull my fingers right back. I don’t know why.

Training methods?

Gym, cycling, running and moto.

Goal for 2015?

Defend my New Zealand 450 title and then win the Australian MX1 championship.

Off the Wall

Best all-time moto DVD/video?

That real old movie On Any Sunday. I’ve tried to find a copy of it on DVD but I can’t get it anywhere.

Non-bike related hobbies?

Golf, hanging out with my dog, and I view cycling more as a hobby than a training tool.

Do you read your pit board?

Yep, if the mechanic’s area is in a good place where you actually have time to read it.

What do you drive?

A 1996 Super Custom Toyota Hiace. I used to have one of the new ones but I practically lived at the fuel station with it and it was nowhere near as comfortable as the old ones.

Favourite magazine?

Transworld MX.

What’s on the iPod?

I listen to anything, but I always find myself going back to Rise Against. Their older stuff is awesome.

Best thing about the MX Nationals?

The professionalism is always improving and the organisation of the events is always onto it.

Who will win the 2015 AMA Supercross?

I’m picking Eli Tomac for 450SX and Cooper Webb for 250SX West Coast.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

From when I was a kid until I got to about 25 I used to love getting naked at parties [laughs].

First and Last

First bike?

A JR50 when I was four.

First kiss?

I can’t remember. It might’ve been at school? My memory’s pretty shot; that’s something else that people should know about me…

First proper injury?

In 2011 when I rode for Motul Pirelli Suzuki I crashed on a tabletop while leading the second race at Appin and collapsed my lung. I finished the race but had to sit out the rest of the round.

First time you got in a fight?

When I was about 10 this big Maori chick at school wanted to fight me. She was like the bully of the school, but because she was a girl I couldn’t fight back – I just had to take it.

Last album/song you downloaded?

Either Rise Against’s Black Market or Pennywise’s Yesterdays.

Last movie you watched?

Dumb and Dumber To. It was real good actually.

Last holiday?

I had six days off over new years and I just relaxed and hung around home doing nothing. The city I live in, Tauranga, is a holiday town so there’s no point going away for a break.

Last big crash you had?

The 2014 MX Nationals at Murray Bridge where I did my knee. I came out of a corner following Jake Moss and he spun out and I went straight into the back of him. I put my right leg out to stop myself from falling, but it did a heap of damage. It’s all good now though and everything’s on track for this year.

One or the Other

Two 30-minute motos or three 20-minute motos?

Definitely two 30-minute motos.

Monster or Red Bull?

None of them.

PC or Mac?


McDonalds or KFC?


Europe or USA?


Two-stroke or four-stroke?


MX Nationals or supercross?

MX Nationals.

Blonde or brunette?

Brunette. I actually only decided this the other day [laughs].

Catch-up with Cody Cooper

NZ’s Motocross Champion Cody Cooper (Team Honda Shop Racing) is looking forward to pre-race mode, excited to get back on the bike and focused on defending his MX1 Title in the up-coming NZ MX season Championships.

Having been forced to take R&R recovering from knee surgery, Cody admits the past few months has been a testing time for not being able to complete Australia’s MX Nationals and not being able to ride.

Cody's Australian bike with Penrite Honda - photo motoonline / mxnationals

Cody: "It’s been hard. I’ve never had to deal with something like this. Before this year I have only had minor injuries. But other than that, I am happy to be where I’m at now."

The toll of taking on board time off bike yields its own level of frustration for any rider- how has Cody managed to deal with this?

Cody: "I’d say frustration of not being fit, not being able to ride and race has been the hardest part of all. Being off the bike is annoyingly challenging for me, but it has its flip side. It will be great to get back on the bike and I’ll have a lot more fun racing throughout the season."

Getting back to peak fitness is uppermost in Cody’s mind with a training programme already mapped out for on and off the bike. No stranger to hitting peak form at just the right time, Cody is on target.

Key for heading into 2015 NZ MX Championship is having the right Team set-up and supportive people who are committed to helping achieve the rider’s MX goals. Heads up for Cody is his Team Honda Shop Racing, bike and as much commitment from support persons as he could wish for.

Cody: "Yes, I have an awesome Team set-up with Honda Shop Racing. We have a very good starting point from winning the 2014 MX1 Title. My Team will do what it takes to win heading into NZ’s MX Championship season."

Cody's Team Honda Shop Racing bike. Photo - Nikita Gillard

maddix park mx

Cody Cooper has updated his injury status: 8th June 2014

As most of you may know by now, I suffered a first turn crash at round 4 of the Australian MX champs at Murray Bridge which badly injured my knee.

The MRI has revealed a ruptured ACL in the right knee. I will be under going Surgery on the13th of June.

This is my first major injury where I have had to sit out an entire season. It's an unfortunate set back to what I expected to be a very strong 2014 season.  It just goes to show things don't always play out as you think, despite the best made plans. 

My disappointment also extends to Yarrive and the Penrite Honda Team who I know have put so much work into preparing for race day, and to not be able to reward them with the results they deserve is gutting to say the least.

At this point it's unknown when iI will be back on the bike;  I plan to keep you all updated though.

Again I'd like to thank you to Penrite Honda Racing and all our sponsors for their ongoing support.

Cooper Set For Scans After Suffering Knee Injury At Murray Bridge 19th May 2014

It was another hard fought day at the office for the Penrite Oil Honda Racing Team at the fourth round of the MX Nationals at Murray Bridge yesterday.  

The team's MX1 rider Cody Cooper endured the highs and lows of racing finishing second in the first race before retiring with a knee injury after colliding with Jake Moss in Moto 2. 

Cooper rode a strong opening MX1 race, coming through and passing championship leader Matt Moss on his way to a second place finish. 

Disaster struck in the second moto when a collision with Jake Moss saw the Kiwi come down hard on his knee and was unable to finish the race. 

“I started tight in the first race then settled in,” Cooper explained. “I found my rhythm and worked my way past Matt Moss and into second. 

“In the second moto I came together with Jake Moss and hurt my knee in the process. To be honest I didn’t even see him. 

“We don’t know the extent of the damage yet, I will see a specialist early next week,” Cooper added.

Top Image: Cody Cooper was left on the ground in pain after a crash at the start of Moto2 

Credit: Aaryn Minerds  Penrite Oil Honda Racing’s Cody Cooper will  be looking to improve on his Wonthaggi results, when the fourth instalment of the MX Nationals converges on South Australia’s Murray Bridge Motocross Track this weekend. 

Cody ended the Wonthaggi event with a top five result in the final MX1 moto and will be aiming for better starts to propel him up the order this weekend. 

“I am feeling a lot better coming into this round than I did ahead of Wonthaggi,” Cooper said. “It was good to get a race weekend under my belt, the first race was not the best but I went a lot better in the second. 

“I am really looking forward to this round, I have spent the past three weeks working on my fitness, corner speed and starts and I feel like I am on top of things,” he concluded. 

The fourth round of the MX Nationals will be held at Murray Bridge Motocross Track on Sunday 18th May. 

Top Image: Pentrite Oil Honda MX's Cody Cooper will be back to full fitness this weekend  Credit: Aaryn Minerds

Race Report Round 3 Australian MX National 2014 (Wonthaggi) 27th April 2014

 The Wonthaggi round saw New Zealand MX1 champion Cody Cooper (Papamoa) (pictured left) return to action for the Penrite Oils Honda team after a month on the sidelines with injury.

Cooper had sustained a fractured cheek bone and eye socket in a qualifying crash at the opening round of the series on March 30.

He qualified second fastest at Wonthaggi behind Matt Moss while his race results were a 12th and fifth, putting him eighth overall for the day.

"The first race was terrible. I got a bad start and then I crashed and I finished 12th," said Cooper.

"The second race was much better. I was third for most of the race but near the end my heart rate spiked ... it was hard. I haven't been able to train properly since the crash."

Cooper now gets a three-week break before the next round.

"The first goal will be to get on the podium in the next couple of rounds and then in the second half of the season the goal is to win some rounds," he said.

Cody's Report from Wonthaggi
Track & General Weather Conditions: A mild temperature overall for the day. The track was a lot more hard packed than usual with no ruts.
Practice/Qualifying: Track was smooth as there wasn't much ripping. Ended up in 2nd place for the Gopro Super pole and not too far off pole. 
Race 1: Got out of the gate ok but found myself getting of the gas way too early into first turn which shuffled me back. I then had a mid race crash which didn't help things, I ended up 12th. For my first race back I felt ok on the bike but the race tempo took some adjustment. 
Race 2: Went into the second race with a little shock adjustment which improved handling all round. Got a 5th place start which defiantly made life much easier. I managed to push through to 3rd place till around the 20min mark where my heart rate spiked. I struggled to arrest my high heart rate and slipped back to 5th place for the last moto of the day. 

Conclusion of the Weekend: My result for the day was 8th overall, far from were I wanted to end up. The upside is I'm back at the races competing. My focus is now on the next 3 weeks before I race again. I know what I need to work on so its head down till then - Talk Soon!

Thank you to everyone on the Penrite Honda Racing Team for all their hard work and support.

Race Report Round 1 Australian MX National 2014 (Broadford) 30th March 2014

As most of you may know this will not be much of a race report, as i didn't get to race due to a crash in my first lap of qualifying.

The following is what happened:

I was on my first fast lap of qualifying when I drifted a little wide going over a small jump, I came off the downside of the jump where I collided with a make shift fence that was much too close to the side of the track. As I went down, my front wheel grabbed in the loose dirt sending me over the bars and face first into one of the fence's vertical uprights.

The exposed upright of the fence went in through the front helmet opening, breaking my cheek and eye socket bones. The impact did not knock me out. 

Once my bike was out of the fence I got my bike going and started to head back to the pits, but was soon stopped by Race Safe (The medical attention service at the track). They were amazing at looking after me. I was then rushed off to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for further check ups and CT scan, where they also found I had a broken finger. Once it was decided they couldn't do much more, I was later discharged from Hospital. I flew home the next morning as planned.

I will be going to the Hospital thursday for reconstructive surgery on my face, its a bit of a mess.

A big thanks to Yarrive and all the crew at the Penrite Honda Racing Team for all their hard work leading up to the opening round, the bike and truck looked awesome. I'd also like to thank Ben and Tilly for all their support and advise throughout the weekend.

Obviously I am very disappointed, it for sure wasn't the start I had in mind but I'll be back as soon as I can be.

 Cody set for the Australian Nationals 2014  March 27th 2014  Penrite Oil Honda Racing’s Cody Cooper heads into this weekend’s opening round of the MX Nationals with confidence and momentum following a successful season in the New Zealand Motocross Championships in which he won the MX1 title . 

Cooper dominated the MX1 class, winning nine of the 12 races and claiming the top step of the dais at all four rounds of the championship on his way to claiming his fifth New Zealand Motocross title. 

With his Penrite Oil Honda Racing team mechanic Blair Meyer commuting across the Tasman to ensure synergy between his race bikes, Cooper believes 2014 will be his best chance yet of securing championship success in the MX Nationals. 

“The New Zealand Motocross Championship provided a great platform to prepare for the MX Nationals,” Cooper explained. “My approach to this weekend’s season opener is not that it is the first round, in my mind it is round five of my season and I will be aiming to carry the momentum from the New Zealand Motocross Championship through. 

“We have done everything to ensure that the Australian bike is identical to the one I raced over here (New Zealand) which gives me a lot of confidence ahead of Broadford,” Cooper added. 

“I have been over to Australia twice for testing and my mechanic Blair has flown over a couple of times to make sure we have synergy from the get go. 

“It is a long series, but I feel like I have done the preparation and I have the right people around me to help me get the job done,” Cooper concluded. 

The Penrite Oil Honda Racing team will make decision on teammate Josh Cachia later this week. Cachia underwent a series of operations to his left wrist and has suffered setbacks in the recovery process

maddix park mx

Round 2 NZ MX Nationals Tokoroa 23rd Feb 2014

New Zealand MX1 Champion reflects on his second round sweep.

Kiwi charger Cody Cooper has wasted no time in establishing himself as the firm favourite to retain the MX1 crown at the New Zealand Motocross Championship.

At the second round of the championship at Tokoroa on Sunday, Coops stormed to three wins from three starts and extended his points lead to 21 points over Billy Mackenzie and Ford Dale. caught up with Cooper during some mid-week testing to find out how it all unfolded.

Image: Madmax Photography.

Image: Madmax Photography.

Good, solid win on Sunday again. How did you rate the weekend?

To be honest it was pretty dangerous. Usually Tokoroa gets some sweet ruts and and acceleration bumps, but the track was strange. Hardly any ruts formed and there heaps of square edges hidden by the dust and dirt.

After the first race I thought I needed to take it easy and rode at about 90 percent for the rest of the day to be safe. I managed to pull leads and then hold the gap, but by the end I wasn’t even jumping some of the jumps.

Ben [Townley] helped a lot with setting the bike up and finding the right lines, but it was a strange day. I think the rest of the riders kind of played it pretty easy too, but it was a positive to know I could’ve pushed harder if the other boys had stepped up their pace.

This was the first time the New Zealand nationals had visited Tokoroa in ages. Had the track changed much since you last raced there?

Yeah I’ve practiced there a bit, but the track and the way it changed during the day was totally different to what I normally find there.

As far as the layout goes, there were a few different sections and a couple of two-lane options, and the laps were really long. During the races we were doing about two minutes 15 seconds a lap.

Personally I think they could’ve made it shorter so there wasn’t as much area to water.

You’ve won all but one race so far this year. Are you happy with your form at the moment?

I’m definitely happy with where I’m at currently, but there’s still room to improve with speed and other bits and pieces. We’ve worked hard on my starts this year and it’s great to have them consistent now.

On Sunday I got two out of three holeshots and I should’ve had the third as well, but I braked too early into the first corner and lost it.

But yeah, I’m stoked with how everything is working out with the new bike and team this year. I’m in a good place and now it’s a matter of carrying that form into the Aussie nationals.

Image: Madmax Photography.

Image: Madmax Photography.

Yeah, tell us a bit about that. Last year you had a similar form streak during the NZ MX Nationals but couldn’t carry that across to Australia. What have you done to address that this year?

I guess I’m just surrounding myself with good people who motivate me and who want to help me out, I’ve got a great bike and I’m feeling confident.

Last year I thought I started the Australian championship with plenty of motivation, but I lost it around the middle and I couldn’t pull myself out of the hole.

It all went downhill from there. This year I need to make it happen and I’m really looking forward to it.

You’ve now had three good hit-outs against Billy, Ford and Kirk Gibbs. What do you think of their pace so far?

The boys are always tough to beat and they’re always fast. Ford’s won a championship, Billy got third last year and Gibbsy will be up there for sure, especially as the season wears on.

I think as long as my starts remain good and consistent I definitely have a good chance of winning the MX Nationals title this year.

Awesome, thanks for that bro. See you over here in a few weeks.

Thanks bro!


Click here for footage of  Cody's day.  It was a tough day at the office for national title hopefuls at the second round of four in the New Zealand Motocross Championships in Tokoroa on Sunday.

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper dazzled. He led the premier MX1 class and he continues to do so after the weekend’s racing at Tokoroa, now with an increased advantage after winning all three MX1 races on Sunday. (Image Andy McGechan,

It was almost perfection for Coops.  He's go the number 1 for a reason. Check out Andy McGechan's article


Round 1 NZ MX Nationals Timaru 8th Feb 2014

FEBRUARY 9, 2014: Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper has fired a warning shot to start the national motocross championships season and indicated to his rivals they can expect a huge fight on their hands if they want to take away the Honda star’s No.1 number plate.

Last season’s national MX1 champion arrived at the first of four rounds at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Saturday determined to send an early message to his international-class rivals and he did just that by winning two of the day’s three MX1 races.

The Honda Shop Racing Team rider took his blood-red CRF450 into the lead midway through the day’s opening MX1 race and pushed on to finish the 20-minute race a solid 11 seconds ahead of Australian visitor Ford Dale, with another international star, Scottish rider Billy MacKenzie, finishing third, seven seconds further back.

A poor start in race two left Cooper with work to do as he struggled to see through the swirling dust clouds and, after giving a valiant chase to Dale and MacKenzie, settled for third place at the finish.

But then came the day’s third and deciding final race and this time Cooper made no mistakes, shooting into the lead from the start and simply running away. He finished this race a massive 14 seconds ahead of runner-up MacKenzie.

Cooper’s 1-3-1 results gave him a three-point lead in his title defence over Dale as the riders pack up to head north and round two at Tokoroa in two weeks’ time, the Honda star so far on target to retain his MX1 crown and perhaps make it two national titles this season after he had already clinched the New Zealand Supercross Championships open class title back in November.

Cooper also won the MX1 class at the Waikato Motocross Championships near Te Kuiti earlier in November, before going on to win the big annual Honda Summercross at Whakatane just after Christmas and the big annual Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville last month.

“We came here with a goal of grabbing three holeshots ... we only got two today, but we did learn something key today, something that will be important as the series moves on,” said The Honda Shop Racing Team manager Ben Townley, the former world motocross champion from Tauranga also a former New Zealand MX1 champion.

“I was happy with Cody’s first race and his third race, so overall it was a good day,” said the hard task master.

The series now heads to Tokoroa for round two on February 23. Round three follows in Pukekohe on March 9 and, finally, it all wraps up in Taupo on March 22. 

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

Experienced Kiwi back with Honda Australia after a six-year hiatus. 25.1.14  Post: Alex Gobert Image: Andy McGechan/

New Zealand’s Cody Cooper will spearhead Penrite Honda Racing Team’s 2014 Australian Motocross Championship campaign, aboard a factory-supported CRF450R in the MX1 category.

Cooper has been aboard a Honda in Ben Townley’s NZ team over the past months, heavily linked to Honda in Australia before today’s official confirmation.

A four-time NZ champion, Cooper will defend his Kiwi title this season with Honda before embarking on the Monster Energy MX Nationals following a four-year association with Suzuki.

“I am pretty excited about this year,” Cooper said. “I have been riding the Honda over here since October and I have been loving it. We have been doing a lot of testing and working with the team in Australia to make sure the bikes are identical. I am feeling really comfortable on the Honda and we will have our first race this weekend at the Woodville GP.”

Cooper will partner MX2 title contender Josh Cachia at Penrite Honda, making for a formidable streamlined combination after the team experienced an injury-rued last year.

“To have a rider of Cody Cooper’s calibre on our CRF450R and joining Josh Cachia in the team is really exciting for Honda,” Honda national marketing manager Glyn Griffiths explained.

“Cody has a long history with Honda and plenty of championship wins under his belt which is more than enough to convince us that in 2014 he is sure to achieve some great results.”

Cooper was last a factory Honda rider in Australia during 2007, the year before he transferred to the US for two seasons in 2008 and 2009.

“We have seen the raw talent and speed Cody has and we are excited to have him as part of the Penrite Oil Honda Racing team in 2014,” team manager Mike Landman said. “Cody is working with Ben in New Zealand so we know we will get greater consistency out of Cody this year. One of the key things we have been working on is ensuring that his race bike in NZ is identical to his race bike in Australia.”

Yesterday it was confirmed that lubricants giant Penrite would replace Carlton Dry as Honda’s title sponsor for the new year (click here for details).

Cooper wins title - Perfect day of racing NZ SuperX R 2 Winton 28.11.13

Mt Maunganui rider Cody Cooper completed a perfect day of racing to take out the New Zealand Supercross title near Winton last night.

The New Zealand motocross champion won all three races, to go with the three wins he claimed in the opening round in Timaru last weekend, to win the senior open title convincingly from Australian Sam Duncanson.

Duncanson's second-place finish in the final race was good enough to see him edge out compatriot Matt Haworth for second place.

"I won it with one lap to go so we just tippy-toed it around in the last race to be a bit cautious," Cooper said. "The track got a little bit slippery when it got colder and the moisture started coming out, it's one of my downfalls the wet, so I was just trying to be careful."

Cooper was impressed with the southern round, held on Jim Cooper's property northwest of Winton, and the nature of the course.

"It was quite technical for a New Zealand track, which is good, and it was good layout. They had a good crowd there too, it was a good event."

A crowd of more than 2000 turned out to watch the racing, which was not officially part of this year's Burt Munro Challenge but has been included on the programme. NATHAN BURDON


Cody Cooper Signs Off with Suzuki : 6th September 2013

The upcoming Motocross of Nations event in Germany could be the last time Kiwi fans will get to see national MX1 champion Cody Cooper astride the awesome Suzuki RM-Z450 bike.

After an extremely positive and productive career with the popular yellow brand, Mount Maunganui’s Cooper has announced that he will be moving on and will be racing in different colours – with no brand yet specified – when the New Zealand Motocross Championships kick off in the New Year.

Cooper has enjoyed phenomenal success with Suzuki over the past few years, perhaps the most significant being when he won the national MX1 title twice, in 2011 and again this season.

Cooper finished a very creditable eighth overall in the 2009 AMA Motocross Championships in the United States, but it was his superb fifth overall in that series in 2008, when he rode a Suzuki, that perhaps shines out as his crowning glory in a career that is simply glowing with accolades.

He raced a privateer Suzuki RM-Z450 in that glorious 2008 season, sensationally taking his Suzuki to win the MX3 class qualifying race at the Motocross of Nations near Birmingham that year, and the following season he signed on to race for the Suzuki factory team back home.

In addition to his two national MX1 titles, Cooper three times consecutively won the annual Tarawera 100 cross-country endurance race near Kawerau, riding his RM-Z450 to take the trophy for outright victory in 2010, 2011 and again last season. Commitments to racing in Australia this season prevented him from extending that win-streak to four.

Riding for the Motul Pirelli Suzuki Team, Cooper finished fourth overall in the Australian Motocross Championships this year.

Suzuki New Zealand’s general manager of motorcycle and ATV marketing, Simon Meade, said Cooper’s leaving was “on very friendly terms”.

“We wish him the best with his future endeavours. He has been a great ambassador for Suzuki and for motorcycling in general.

“Suzuki will now be looking for a different team set-up. We will also be putting a lot more into the grass roots of the sport, offering training and assistance at the track on race days too.”

Cooper’s final ride for the Suzuki brand will be at the Motocross of Nations, near Leipzig, in the former East Germany, on September 29, where he will front up as the MX3 class rider in the three-man Team New Zealand assault.

This event is promoted as the “Olympic Games of motocross” and typically attracts three-rider teams from more than 40 countries. New Zealand has been on the podium at this major international event on three occasions, with Cooper one of the squad when New Zealand finished third in 2006.

Australian Nationals Round 9 Coolum 1st September 2013

Cody Cooper was fourth overall at Coolum via a consistent 5-3 scorecard on the second of the Motul Pirelli Suzuki RM-Z450s, finishing in that same position overall for the 2013 season.

"It's been an up and down season, but an enjoyable one all the same," current Kiwi champion Cooper commented. "I really have to thank Motul Pirelli Suzuki for their efforts all year long, as well as congratulate Matt on winning the championship."

Combined, Motul Pirelli Suzuki won five of the 10 rounds contested; team-mate Matt Moss taking victory at Broadford, Appin, Swan Hill and Toowoomba plus the 2013 MX 1 title, while Cooper claimed the Conondale overall. 

Australian Nationals Round 8 Toowoomba 25th August 2013

Cody Cooper had another tough day of mixed results at Toowoomba - Credit: Aaryn Minerds

 Cody Cooper, the current New Zealand MX1 Motocross Champion, endured an inconsistent day at Echo Valley. He was fastest in the first qualifying session and ended up third in Super Pole, but struggled to sixth and 10th positions in the motos. He now sits fourth in the championship standings with one round remaining. 

“The day started positive when I was fastest in regular qualifying,” Cooper reflected. “But I got a bad start in the first moto. I was happy with how I rode, but I just couldn’t make the passes when I needed to. 

“In moto two I got a good start, but went backwards and honestly couldn’t ride the pace of the other guys – they were riding the hard pack better than me. It’s one of my downfalls, so definitely need to work on that.” 

 Australian Nationals Round 6 Appin 14th July 2013

Coming off a victory at Conondale's fifth round, Cooper also continued his form at Appin, but a number of mistakes in the opening moto resulted in eighth position. He recovered to dominate the second leg, which boosted him to second overall for the round - partly thanks to his five points amassed in Superpole. 

"My day started off good in winning the Superpole, but it was a little up and down during the motos," said Cooper. "It was a good day all-in-all though for the whole Motul Pirelli Suzuki team and I'm really happy with the result overall. I felt really good in moto two and I was able to race to the victory." 

The reigning two-time New Zealand Motocross Champion is fourth in the standings, setting his sights on a position in the top three and 45 points in arrears of current leader Todd Waters. 

Said Team Manager Jay Foreman: "It was another great result for the team and we couldn't be happier. Matt Moss really took advantage of a recent trip to America and his speed is exceptional, while Cody again proved in moto two that when he puts the pieces of the puzzle together he's a very difficult rider to beat. These results bode well for the final four rounds of the season." 

MX1 Round Results: 

1. Matt Moss (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 65 

2. Cody Cooper (Motul Pirelli Suzuki) 63 

 Battle of the Clubs June 29th Taupo:  Cooper In Sublime Form

Click here for GoPro Footage of the racing

Australia had better watch out ... and so, possibly, should the rest of the world.

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper used his mid-series break from racing the Australian Motocross Championships to tackle the annual Battle of the Clubs Motocross in Taupo at the weekend, Saturday’s event a fundraiser to send a three-rider New Zealand team to compete at the Motocross of Nations in Germany in September. 

Representing the Tauranga Motorcycle Club, Cooper raced his Moto City Suzuki RM-Z450 as the six-member team’s MX1 category rider, and it perhaps came as a surprise to nobody that he proved unbeatable on the Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park facility, comfortably fending off attacks from Taupo’s former national champion Ben Townley and Rotorua’s former national champion Michael Phillips in the process. 

Reigning national MX1 No.1 Cooper won both the combined MX1 and Veterans’ class race and the combined MX1 and MX2 race as well, although it wasn’t quite enough for his club to win the event outright, that honour going instead to the host Taupo Motorcycle Club. 

Cooper’s Tauranga team finished the event ranked fifth overall of the 21 clubs entered, but Cooper may still be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the fundraiser.

It seems likely, on current form at least, that Cooper could be an automatic first-choice rider to ride for Team New Zealand in Germany in September.  In the past decade, Cooper has been an integral member of Team New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations on six separate occasions.

But before that squad is named, Suzuki’s Cooper has other business to focus on, with the sixth round of 10 in the Australia Motocross Championships just around the corner.

He is in confident mood as he heads to Appin, in New South Wales, for round six in less than a fortnight (July 14), especially with results now starting to click for the 29-year-old.

Cooper won the previous round at Conondale, in Queensland, at the start of June – strengthening his position at fourth overall in the MX1 standings across the Tasman – and he firmly believes momentum is now on his side.

“We have found a really good set-up with the bike and I’m very happy with it,” said Cooper. “It was good to come here (to Taupo) and win my races and now I’ll have another week of hard training at home before I head back to Australia for round six.

“I’m fourth in the standings but there’s not too much in it and I’ll do my best to claw back the points. I’m not concerned with the other riders ... I’ll just do my own thing and concentrate on doing what I do ... we’ll just see how it works out.

“I hope I do get picked for the Motocross of Nations squad. I have raced at that German track before, although it was a Grand Prix event when I was about 17, so that’s a long time ago.”

 Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

Round 4 Australian Nationals 2013 June 2nd 2013

Cody Cooper was inch perfect in qualifying and the second moto to claiming his first overall win for 2013. The current New Zealand Motocross champion, finally found the form that has eluded him for the most part at the opening rounds of this year’s championship taking the round win ahead of his team-mate Matt Moss, due to scoring five bonus championship points by virtue of winning the morning GoPro Superpole session. 

Cooper topped the time sheets ahead of Gibbs, Mackenzie and J.Moss who had the fourth fastest time. 

After facing a wet and sloppy track for practice and qualifying, the riders were greeted to a deep rutted and moist track when the gate dropped on moto one.  Cooper was able to close down and make a move around Bopping for fifth place in the closing stages of the opening moto. 

While things were tight out front in moto one, it was a different story in moto two as Cooper jumped out of the gate and quickly took control of the race. Out front he held strong and was able to hold on to claim the race win, which was enough to also claim his first round win of the season. 

"We ended up changing some fork settings, I know I can ride fast when I am comfortable, it just took a little while to get there," Cooper explained. "We got a little lost there for awhile while going backwards and forwards, but I am happy with what we have now. 

"Ill head back to New Zealand for the five week break, we won’t have to test as much now and I can just pump out the motos." he added.

Round 2 Australian Nationals 2013  April28th

Motul Pirelli's Cody Cooper rocketed to the opening MX1 holeshot of the day  but finished 3rd in moto 1. He looked as though he was going to take another hole shot in moto two (Pic Credit: Aaryn Minerds) until Waters came in to the first turn hot, with the two riders coming together heavily. The impact set of a chain reaction that saw a lot of riders hit the deck in the first turn.  Cooper, his bike damaged from the first corner impact, struggled to a 16th place in moto two, leaving him in 8th place for the round.


Round 1 Australian Nationals 2013  April14th  

Motul Pirelli Suzuki's Cody Cooper claimed the team's first overall podium of the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals Australian Motocross Championship season at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales on Sunday.

The recently-crowned two-time New Zealand Motocross Champion put forward a consistent campaign on the RM-Z450 to open his account for the 10-round season in second overall, finishing third in the pair of 30-minute motos at the MX Central complex. Starts were the only thing that kept Cooper from having a chance to go head to head with Waters on track, after pulling multiple holeshots during the New Zealand national championships, Cooper could not quite find the starting form this weekend at MX Central, though showed he defiantly has the pace to be a contender in this years championship.

“My mind was a bit on the suspension side of things,” explained Cooper. “Todd was hauling today. I’ll go back home and do what I was doing and keep working at it.

“I want to thank the team and my trainer for getting me in the shape I need to be in.

Cooper's result will serve as a stable platform to build from in the coming rounds of the 10-round series, continuing the form that saw him finish strong last season and throughout the NZ series earlier this year. He's now second in the series, 15 points behind round one winner Todd Waters.

"My day started off a bit average in qualifying ninth, but we knew what we needed to do and prepared for the motos." Cooper explained. "We improved each moto and I think we will keep improving from here in the coming rounds.

"I'm happy though and feel very comfortable already at this stage," he Kiwi added.

Cody Cooper Recap Footage MX Nationals 2013

NZ Nationals Round 3 Harrisville March 10th 2013

 The 29-year-old Cooper took his Speed Shop-prepared RM-Z450 to an impressive hat-trick of wins at the undulating Harrisville circuit, near Pukekohe, on Sunday, extending to a massive 31 points his lead over Scottish former Grand Prix star Billy MacKenzie.

This means Moto City Suzuki Team hero Cooper is possibly now just a couple of races away from reclaiming the national MX1 motocross crown that he last held in 2011 – he has more than a race up his sleeve with just three races to go.

And so, with just one round remaining to wrap up the series, set for Taupo on March 31, Cooper is in prime position to claim the 2013 crown.

"This was one of my best day's racing ever," said Cooper afterwards.

“The work I’ve been doing with my new trainer (Hamilton’s John Appel) is starting to pay off. My upper body strength has improved and it’s all coming together nicely now.

“I’m all set for the final round at Taupo now and the Australian Motocross Championships series to follow that. I’m really hungry to win and my confidence is really high.”

NZ Nationals Round 1 Timaru Feb 10th 2013

Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper is a quarter of the way down the path towards reclaiming the national MX1 motocross crown that he last held in 2011.

The 29-year-old Moto City Suzuki hero took his Speed Shop-prepared RM-Z450 machine to a hat-trick of top-three finishes at the first round of four in this season's New Zealand Motocross Championships near Timaru on Sunday, enough to give him a solid nine-point lead over a big-bike class laden with international talent.

Cooper hounded MX1 class defending champion Ben Townley all the way to the chequered flag in the day's opening race, the undulating earth scorched by temperatures in the mid 30s, to send a stern warning that he would be a huge threat for the title this season.

And so it proved when Cooper romped to an impressive victory in the next race, with Townley crashing out of the event and visiting Scotsman Billy MacKenzie and Australian duo Kirk Gibbs and Todd Waters left to gasp in Cooper's wake.

Cooper settled for a safe third placing in the last race of the day, finishing behind Waters and MacKenzie, and then immediately headed for the ice bath in the Moto City Suzuki Team rig.

"It was tough in that heat but a good day for me in the end," Cooper said as he soaked in the cooling waters.

"We certainly all felt the heat today."

Cooper will be hoping to apply some more heat of his own when the championship heads to round two at Patetonga, in the Thames Valley, in two weeks' time.

"I need to be consistent to win this title back," said Cooper. "I am very happy with the bike. I wanted to leave Timaru with a points lead and I achieved that. This is traditionally a bad track for me, so it is great to leave with a points lead and my body still in one piece."

Moto City Suzuki team manager Andrew Hardisty said Cooper's result on Sunday was "vindication and apt reward for a lot of hard work being put in by him and by the team around him".

"We are taking nothing for granted but it's certainly a very strong platform to build on," said Hardisty, a former multiple national motocross champion.

Summercross Dec 30 2012

Cody Cooper, had a tough day at the office, a collision with another rider in race two consigning him to an uncharacteristic sixth spot and he was therefore unable to claw his way onto the podium.

That big bike class was instead won by national MX1 champion Ben Townley, of Tauranga.

Aussie Champs at the Midway Point May 2012

Team Motul Pirelli Suzuki rider Cody Cooper has to be one of the most easy-going blokes in the pits, but all that changes when he gets behind the grips. As far as raw speed goes, New Zealand-based rider is one of the toughest guys to beat when he’s on point. caught up with Coop and thought we’d throw a few tricky questions his way to see if he can handle the pressure as well as he does out on the track. We get his thoughts on several random topics we threw his way.

Jetting back and forward to New Zealand between rounds…
It works out well for me because there are a lot of tracks and it’s always easy to find somewhere to ride. It’s almost like racing in America – a three-hour flight from your home and you’re at the next round, ready to race.

Being based in another country doesn’t really affect the team dynamics much – the bike is set up really well now, and if there is ever an issue or the team wants to test some different settings I can simply fly back over and sort it out, or stay a bit longer after a race.

Performance so far in 2012…
Until Wonthaggi it has been pretty average to tell the truth. The second round at Coonabarabran was good, but I didn’t capitalise on my good luck and I kinda managed to turn it into bad luck.

I grabbed the holeshot in the first race, but then I stalled it going into the first corner, then I got another great start in the final race but crashed and had to fight my way back. I still managed fourth in that race, but I felt I could’ve got better results considering the hand I got dealt.

Results this year compared to last year…
It’s definitely better. At the second round last year I injured myself and was pretty over the whole season! I’m happy to start off where I am and build on it, rather than start off shit and having to make up ground throughout the rest of the championship.

Life outside of motocross…
I really like playing golf, which is all I really do apart from riding my bike! Golf is good because it means I’m able to put the bike aside and focus on something else.

If I only had racing in my life I’d get a bit bored and over it, but golf and a good social life keeps me balanced. I have a golf handicap of 13, which is okay, but there were a few bent clubs along the way!

Labour Weekend Extravaganza 2011

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper again won the big annual Labour Weekend Motocross Extravaganza in Taupo on Sunday and that came as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Cooper is, afterall, the man who won this popular annual event last season and he is also the reigning New Zealand MX1 Champion. His undoubted talents were also recognised just over a month ago by the Suzuki factory team in Europe when they drafted the Kiwi in to replace their injured world championship superstar Clement Desalle.

But the comprehensive manner of Cooper’s victory at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motocross Park on Sunday did raise a few eyebrows nonetheless.


“I just felt really good today,” said the 28-year-old Cooper in classic understatement.

He was unbeaten in his MX1 class outings and also ran away with the coveted Nicky Smith Memorial feature race.

“It was a good way to start the season for Team Suzuki.”

Cooper was simply beaming about his new 2012-model Suzuki RM-Z450.

“The new bike is awesome ... so much power. I holeshot every race. It is just so grunty. I’ll be doing lots of riding now to warm up for the motocross nationals and then will step up my training even more before the Summercross (at Whakatane) just after Christmas and then the supercross champs and motocross champs (at the start of next year).”

It could easily have been a Suzuki 1-2 in the feature final too as Cooper’s team-mate, fellow Bay of Plenty rider Rhys Carter, also ran near the front for much of the all-in feature race on his Suzuki RM-Z250, eventually settling for third place behind national MX2 champion Darryll King, of Hamilton.

Carter also finished overall first-equal – level with King – in the separate battle for MX2 class honours but was forced to accept runner-up spot on the count-back rule.

“I’m pretty happy with today, especially considering I was sick with the flu all week,” said the 22-year-old Carter afterwards.

“I know I’ve got the speed to win this year and I’ll be fitter and stronger by the time I race the nationals (in February).”

Cody to Europe to replace Desalle 19.08.11

New Zealand’s Cody Cooper will contest the final two rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship in place of injured title contender Clement Desalle.

Kiwi Cody Cooper will make a shock appearance for Rockstar Energy Drink Suzuki in the final World Motocross rounds.

Cooper, who won five motos and the Toowoomba round during the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals this season, will ride for Rockstar Energy Drink Suzuki in the MX1 premier class.

After winning his maiden New Zealand Motocross Championship earlier this year, Cooper was in stunning form as the MX Nationals commenced in Australia, only to be forced out of title contention during the Appin round.

Cooper suffered rib injuries and a collapsed lung in moto two at Appin after winning three motos in succession, ruled out of that round and the following one at Raymond Terrace to dash his title hopes.

The world championship rounds in Germany and Italy next month won’t be Cooper’s first appearance on an international level, previously spending two seasons in the U.S. and finishing a fine fifth in the 2008 AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

Cooper has also represented New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations, finishing on the podium with Josh Coppins and Ben Townley in 2006. He’ll head to Europe on Wednesday next week.

Desalle suffered a broken left shoulder last weekend while contesting a round of the Belgian Motocross Championship, undergoing surgery on Tuesday and expected to be ruled out for six weeks.

Cooper will skip this weekend’s British Grand Prix, joining the team for the European Grand Prix at Galidorf on 4 September and the Italian Grand Prix at Fermo on 11 September.

Report 19th March 2011

It was two Suzuki riders in the top three when the mud was finally cleared away at round one of the Australian Motocross Championships on Sunday, one of them a Kiwi hero.

And the momentum was surely with Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper as he took his Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki RM-Z450 to win the final two muddy open class races of the day at the rain-drenched Broadford circuit, just outside Melbourne.

If he had not struck problems in the earlier two races, it could well have been New Zealand’s Cooper on the top step of the podium across the Tasman.

Instead it was Scottish visitor Billy Mackenzie who won the day, ending up a flattering 18 points ahead of Cooper, with another Suzuki rider, Australian Lawson Bopping in third spot overall.

Cooper was thrilled with his day’s work.
“Yes, I finished up second today, which is a good result for me,” said Cooper.
“Last year I had a horrible start to the season, although a first overall would have been great today.
“One of my races today was terrible, with me having no visibility and running off the track into some PVC piping and then having trouble remounting the bike and getting it going. I am happy to still manage to finish the day in second place overall.
“Those good starts helped out a lot and I want to get a few more of them this season.”

Cooper now returns home to continue his New Zealand Motocross Championships campaign, a competition in which he is currently running a close second overall to fellow Kiwi international Josh Coppins after two of four rounds.

Cooper took his team Power Balance MotoGB Suzuki RM-Z450 to win round two of that series, at Patetonga, near Morrinsville, a fortnight ago and is looking forward to renewing his battle with Coppins at round three near Rotorua this Sunday.

With the form that Cooper is exhibiting, he could finish the year with two national titles in two separate countries.      Report by Andy McGechan

About Cody Cooper

Cody Cooper returns to Australia to spearhead Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s attack on the premier Pro Open class in the 2010 National Motocross Championship aboard Suzuki’s fuel-injected RM-Z450.

Born in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Cooper started racing at age four. In 1994 he claimed his first New Zealand Junior Motocross Title and repeated the effort in 1995.

In the ensuing years Cooper took a break from the sport, returning in 2000 to race the famous Woodville Motocross Grand Prix, where he claimed the win in his comeback race.

Cooper’s consistency continued to improve and in 2003 he claimed the Pro Lites class of the New Zealand National Motocross Championship.
In 2004 he claimed the Pro Lites division of the Australian National Motocross Championship and then backed up with another New Zealand Motocross Championship (Pro Lites) in 2005.

In 2006 Cooper competed in the Pro Open class of the Australian National Motocross Championship, finishing third. He was then selected to represent New Zealand (for the second time) at the MX des Nations where the New Zealand team finished third overall.

In 2007, again racing Pro Open, Cooper claimed nine race podiums, including three wins, on his way to third place in the Australian National Motocross Championship. In the Supercross series that same year he secured fourth place overall.

Cooper then jetted stateside to compete in the final two rounds of the AMA Motocross Championship. The penultimate round at Freestone County Raceway saw Cooper claim fifth overall, while the final round saw a seventh in Moto One before a mechanical failure in the second Moto left him with an 11th place finish overall.

In the 2008 AMA Outdoor Series, Cooper was a regular front runner claiming fifth place in the 450 class. This included eight top-10 finishes, two overall podium finishes and three individual podium Moto finishes.

In 2009 Cooper strung together some impressive results in the AMA Outdoor Series, which included six top-10 finishes in the premier 450 class.

In 2010, Cooper will pilot Suzuki’s fuel-injected RM-Z450 in the National Motocross Championship, looking to continue Suzuki’s impressive racing results over the last three years.

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